Music of Afghanistan


Afghanistan was well known for its cultural diversity, and equally renowned for its music. Under the Taliban regime, music was forbidden but many master musicians survived and, along with them, their knowledge. The end of the Taliban regime saw many master musicians returning to Afghanistan. Since then, they have worked to pass on their wealth of knowledge to younger generations. Today the music of Afghanistan can be divided in three main sections: klasik, popular music and sufi music, the mystical music of Islam.

This edition gives priority consideration ot klasik, the classical music with its flourish compositions and diversity in instrumentation is of main interest. Following the learning map ‚Music of Afghanistan‘ in the upper-left range we discover, that there exist four main forms for classical instrumental compositions: lariya, naghma-ye chartuk, naghma-ye kashak, naghma-ye klasik.

The centers of the Afghan instrumental music are the ragas of North Indian classical music. The system of ragas defines the notes that are allowed in a certain rag and their relationship to each other. Many rags are assigned to specific times of day or to certain seasons. The counterpart constitutes the talas, which define the rhythmical basis in strictly defined rhythm cycles of specific counts.

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